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The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.

 

These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant
@andyedwardsbiz

25 Nov 2022 | Press release

YouTube Music confirmed as Official Digital Music Partner of The BRIT Awards 2023 with Mastercard

Streaming music giant extends partnership with The BRIT Trust with BRIT School YouTube Residency programme for students   YouTube Music has been announced as the Official Digital Music Partner of The BRIT Awards with Mastercard for the third year (following on from...more

24 Nov 2022 | Press release

FUGA inks global deal with Insomniac Music Group

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24 Nov 2022 | Press release

Slawn announced as 2023 BRIT award statue designer

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24 Nov 2022 | Press release

NTIA Responds to Announcement of Rail Strikes through December and January

  Michael Kill CEO NTIA says:“The announcement today of further strike action during the festive period will be catastrophic, and will inevitably have a knock on effect on service either side of the key holiday period.These sporadic weekly or daily planned...more

24 Nov 2022 | Press release

BMG acquires catalogue of Germany’s ‘Lemon Tree’ hitmakers Fools Garden

BMG is proud to announce it has acquired the recordings catalogue of multi-Platinum German pop-rock band Fools Garden. The band around founding members Peter Freudenthaler, Volker Hinkel, Thomas Mangold, Roland Röhl and Ralf Wochele rose to worldwide fame in 1995 following...more

24 Nov 2022 | Press release

Singer-songwriter Roxanne de Bastion re-elected; horn player David Lee elected as Performer Directors at PPL's Annual Performer Meeting 2022

  At today's PPL Annual Performer Meeting (APM), singer-songwriter Roxanne de Bastion was re-elected as a Performer Director, and horn player David Lee was elected as a Performer Director.  This means music manager David Stopps steps down as a Performer Director...more

23 Nov 2022 | Press release

Warner Chappell Music opens new studio in Barcelona

Warner Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has opened a new songwriting studio in Barcelona, one of the most dynamic and creative cities in Spain.  The new studio is run by Cristian Cabrera Viñas, Senior A&R Director at Warner...more

23 Nov 2022 | Press release

Heavy Music Awards 2023 announces milestone show hosted at London’s iconic OVO Arena Wembley

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23 Nov 2022 | Press release

The Red Carpet Treatment podcast

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23 Nov 2022 | Press release

Self Esteem crowned winner of the DICE Live Award 2022

  Self Esteem chosen as DICE's best live music act in the UK and Ireland this year  The pop artist joins prestigious past DICE Live Award winners including Dave, Little Simz, Loyle Carner, Slowthai and Wolf Alice who have later been recognised...more

23 Nov 2022 | Press release

CHUNKZ & YUNG FILLY to host 25th anniversary MOBO AWARDS on 30 November

Where to listen, live-stream and watch the TV special below  CHART-TOPPING DJ ELIZA ROSE is the latest star confirmed to perform – show also includes performances by KOJEY RADICAL, TION WAYNE, FIREBOY DML, CAT BURNS, FLO… and more to be announced soon! YouTubers turned presenters CHUNKZ & YUNG FILLY to...more

23 Nov 2022 | Press release

Amazon Music's +44 announce Stormzy: This Is What I Mean - Live From Queen Elizabeth Hall

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23 Nov 2022 | Press release

BMG targets growth in Spain with new repertoire focus

  BMG is pleased to announce with immediate effect a new structure for its Madrid-based operation under the dual leadership of Marcos Fairweather (recordings) and Javier Doria (music publishing). The company will pursue growth in the Spanish language market with a renewed...more

23 Nov 2022 | Press release

The Lower Third, London's newest music venue and bar, part of the Outernet district, appoints lounges.tv as exclusive live streaming partner

  New pay per view streaming platform Lounges.tv is joining forces with London's most exciting new music venue and bar The Lower Third, part of The Outernet, to help support the grassroots music community, providing an online space for artists to stream their performances...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

Sony Music France partner with KMS to launch ‘first-ever’ fully immersive IMAX-certified film of iconic rock band Indochine’s ‘Central Tour in Cinema’ concert

Sony Music France and joint venture partner KMS announced today the launch of co-production ‘Central Tour in Cinema’: a film showcasing iconic French rock band Indochine’s 40th anniversary concert, held in the spring of 2022 to a sold-out and record-setting audience...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

elasticStage Announce Raoul Chatterjee as Chief Operating Officer

  On-demand vinyl platform elasticStage has announced the appointment of highly regarded music industry veteran Raoul Chatterjee to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Chatterjee, who joins elasticStage from his previous role of Vice President, Content Partnerships & Operations at SoundCloud will...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

UK Music Reveals 2022 Workforce Diversity Survey And Unveils New Plan To Boost Diversity And Inclusion

  UK Music today reveals the findings of its 2022 Workforce Diversity Survey, as part of its UK Music Diversity Report.   It also unveils a radical action plan with 15 key recommendations to improve diversity across the music industry.   Since its launch in...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

Alicia Keys, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Billie Eilish and Brandi Carlile launch The Circle’s Music Icons Auction

Proceeds will support The Circle’s work to economically empower and end violence against women and girls.    Take part in the global auction HERE   As part of the Global 16 Days of Activism, musician, activist and Founder of The Circle, Annie Lennox, has brought...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

Events platform Xceed secures €2 Million Funding

  Xceed, one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the SaaS-enabled marketplace and a b2b platform for music events and going-out plans, has raised €2 million from a diverse group of European funds and investors in October.  Xceed is a game changing...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

beatBread secures new $100 million fund to further empower artist independence

New institutional financing will allow the music funding platform to expand artist access to capital across all career stages  beatBread (www.beatBread.com), the music funding platform, has finalized a $100 million institutional funding agreement with Variant Investments, a $2.2B alternative asset fund...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

Concord Music Publishing ANZ locks in new global publishing deal with Australian hit maker Luude

  Concord Music Publishing ANZ (formerly Native Tongue) is delighted to announce a major new global exclusive publishing deal with one of Australia’s most hotly tipped new producers - Christian Benson aka LUUDE. 2022 has been an enormous year for the Gold-Coast based producer...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

Coldplay, Sting, Robyn + more come together for climate change law

Barbra Streisand, Coldplay, Brian Eno, Sting, Bryan Adams, Robyn, Adam McKay, Jason Momoa, Dame Emma Thompson, David Gilmour among artists calling on EU leaders to keep historic deforestation law strong   Barbra Streisand, Coldplay, Jason Momoa, Sting, Brian Eno, Robyn, Adam McKay,...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

Christine and the Queens announced as 2023 Meltdown festival curator at the Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre has today announced that the next curator of its annual, award-winning Meltdown festival – the longest-running artist-curated festival in the world – will be French phenomenon Christine and the Queens. Announced ahead of his Southbank Centre debut this evening, Christine and the...more

22 Nov 2022 | Press release

Management company Zulu Music unveils roster, signs Beka, Aaron Taylor, Joel Baker & Jerub

Founded by Thando Zulu, who is part of the 2022 Music Managers Forum Accelerator Programme  zulumusic.uk   Management company Zulu Music has unveiled its roster, which includes BEKA, Aaron Taylor, Joel Baker and JERUB.   Founded by Thando Zulu, who is part of the 2022...more

21 Nov 2022 | Press release

Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Amy Allen signs worldwide admin deal with Warner Chappell Music

  Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has signed a global admin deal with acclaimed singer/songwriter Amy Allen. A highly sought-after hitmaker, Allen has written top singles for Harry Styles (“Adore You,” “Matilda”), Halsey (“Without Me,” “Graveyard,” “Be Kind”), Selena Gomez (“Back to...more

21 Nov 2022 | Press release

Koko to host Studio Richter Mahr's special 'Free & Equal' event

SATURDAY DECEMBER 10TH - HUMAN RIGHTS DAY LIMITED EVENT TICKETS INCLUDE AN INTIMATE DINNER AT THE HOUSE OF KOKO  TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY 25TH NOV 10AM FROM HERE ALL TICKET SALES BENEFIT MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES CO-DIRECTORS MAX RICHTER AND YULIA MAHR CELEBRATE STUDIO RICHTER MAHR'S...more

19 Nov 2022 | Press release

Pico Cibelli named as President of Warner Music Italy

Marco Alboni to step down after nine years   Pico Cibelli has been named as the new President of Warner Music Italy.  He will be starting the role in the near future and reporting to Simon Robson, President, International, Recorded Music, Warner...more

19 Nov 2022 | Press release

Stormzy and Amazon Music's +44 present The This Is What I Mean House

STORMZY AND AMAZON MUSIC'S +44 PRESENT THE THIS IS WHAT I MEAN HOUSE - A FREE TO ATTEND THREE DAY POP UP THEMED AROUND STORMZY'S NEW ALBUM, FEATURING PERFORMANCES, LIVE CONVERSATIONS WITH STORMZY, IMMERSIVE LISTENING EXPERIENCES AND MORE   Amazon Music have today...more

18 Nov 2022 | Press release

Empowering Diversity, Excellence & Transformation in the Workplace

Empowering Diversity, Excellence & Transformation in the Workplace: New ‘Trailblazer’ partner The Orchard joins the MOBOLISE movement alongside Burberry, NBCUniversal, PPL, Superdry & HSBC MOBO Group, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the MOBO Awards this year, launched its ground-breaking recruitment and...more

18 Nov 2022 | Press release

Nick Hartley and Pat Carr re-elected to BPI Council

The BPI, the voice of independent and major record labels across the UK, today announces that Nick Hartley (CEO & CFO PIAS) and Pat Carr (Founder Remote Control Agency) have been re-elected to the BPI's Council as representatives of the BPI's independent member labels. Voting for...more

25 Nov 2022

  • Deezer publishes its 2022 Rewind charts (see Digital)

24 Nov 2022

  • Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift chaos triggers US Senate antitrust hearing (see News)

23 Nov 2022

  • beatBread secures new $100m fund to 'further empower artist independence' (see Business)

22 Nov 2022

  • UK Music publishes its 2022 Workforce Diversity Survey (see Reports)

21 Nov 2022

  • The demise of key changes in the pop charts (see Analysis)

  • Live Nation defends ‘fan-friendly’ Ticketmaster; Taylor Swift unhappy (see News)

  • Why does music have such a hold over us? (see Opinion)

18 Nov 2022

  • Industry bodies react to the Autumn statement (see Opinion)

  • Taylor Swift could have sold 20x tickets for US tour; public ticket sale called off (see News)

  • What Spotify and YouTube’s billions playlists tell us about streaming (see Comment)

30 Nov 1999

    17 Nov 2022

    • The benefits and challenges of neurodivergence in the industry (see Features)

    • IFPI releases global report Engaging with Music 2022 (see Reports)

    • Has streaming killed the one-hit wonder? (see Analysis)

    16 Nov 2022

    • DCMS Committee examined how Government and industry responded to the economics of streaming report (see News)

    15 Nov 2022

    • Help Musicians study finds 98% of musicians concerned about rising costs (see Reports)